Concordia stifles Morningside attack in GPAC road win

By Jacob Knabel on Oct. 1, 2016 in Men's Soccer

SIOUX CITY, Iowa – A flurry of first-half goals provided plenty of breathing room for the Concordia University men’s soccer team, which used three different goal scorers on its way to a 3-0 win at Morningside inside Elwood Olsen Stadium in Sioux City, Iowa, on Saturday night. It marked the fourth-straight meeting with the Mustangs that has gone in the Bulldogs’ favor.

Ninth-year head coach Jason Weides’ squad bumped its records to 5-2-2 overall and 2-1 in GPAC play. Concordia is now 6-1-2 over its last nine games against conference opponents.

“As a unit it was probably one of the more complete games we’ve had,” Weides said. “I thought we defended well against Hastings (Wednesday), but our pressing was a little bit better today. We sat back a little too much in our last game, so we were able to step up our pressing line. Outside of the first 10 minutes we pressed really well and made Morningside’s life really difficult. Morningside’s a good team and I think we really made it tough on them.”

The Mustangs (7-2-1, 1-2 GPAC) had lost just once all season entering the weekend. They also came into the night averaging more than 2.5 goals per game. Morningside just couldn’t create many chances while up against one of the nation’s top defending teams. The Bulldogs, who rank No. 13 nationally in terms of fewest goals allowed per game, stifled the Mustangs all night. Morningside took just four shots (two on goal).

After the early lull, Concordia put together a comfortable lead by halftime courtesy of goals from Marcelo Hernandez (26’), Lewis Rathbone (34’) and Aries Fung (41’). Assists were credited to Micah Lehenbauer and Matthew Ho. Hernandez has now scored three of his four goals in GPAC play while Fung got on the board for the first time this season. Their efforts allowed Weides to go deeper into the bench as the night wound down.

It was just the response Weides had hoped for following a 1-0 defeat three days earlier to undefeated and fourth-ranked Hastings.

“We just want our guys to understand that every game is worth three points,” Weides said. “You have to go out and compete every game. We wanted to be better than we were our last game, and we did that.”

The Bulldogs have now shut out five of their first nine opponents and have yet to surrender more than two goals in a single game. Concordia’s foes have managed a grand total of five goals and have averaged only 8.6 shots per game.

The Mustangs’ only previous loss was a 5-0 defeat at Midland. They had carried an unblemished 6-0-1 mark into the start of conference action.

The Bulldogs will step outside of the conference on Wednesday when they travel to take on Bellevue University. Kickoff is slated for 3 p.m. CT from Bellevue Soccer Club. The Bruins (4-6-2) have not played since a 3-2 win over Briar Cliff on Sept. 24. Bellevue was ranked 17th in the preseason, but has since dropped out of the rankings.